As much as you may need the money, you should not expect to see a benefit payment from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) for at least a couple of months. However, it's important to know that coverage for an allowed claim begins right away, so any medical treatment you receive at the time of your accident will be covered by workers' comp if your claim is approved, but payment might come as reimbursement. As a workers' comp attorney in Columbus helping injured workers for over 30 years, you can count on me to make the process efficient and painless.
Understand the Difference Between a Claim and an Allowed Claim
Filing a workers' comp claim does not guarantee payment of compensation. If you were injured on the job, you can file a claim with the BWC, but your claim could be disputed by your employer and denied by the BWC. Because the BWC has 28 days from the day you file your claim to make a decision, you might not know whether you've been approved until you have been treated—and often have even recovered—from your accident. If your claim is ultimately allowed, you (or your health insurance company) will be reimbursed for the cost of treatment, and you could be awarded back pay for days you had to take off work to recover.
Determining the Start Date for Disability Payments
If your temporary total (TT) disability claim is allowed, the BWC will follow a specific formula for determining the start date of your benefits. Temporary total disability means you cannot perform any gainful work for a temporary period. To apply for TT benefits, your work-related injury must have kept you out of work for at least eight consecutive calendar days. If you were disabled for more than seven days but fewer than 14 days, you will be compensated only for the wages you lost on days eight through 14. If you were disabled for 14 or more consecutive days, the BWC will also pay for the first seven days of disability.
For other types of disability—such as permanent total or partial permanent—it might be more complicated to figure out when your benefits will start. When you entrust your claim to an experienced workers' comp attorney, however, you will be kept in the loop throughout the entire process so you can plan for whatever may come.
Factors That Could Delay a Decision and Your Payments
Your claim decision could be slowed down and your ultimate approval and benefit start date delayed by several factors, including:
- Incomplete claim. It's important that you file a complete claim as quickly as possible if you are hoping for an efficient resolution. Not seeing an approved doctor right away, failing to provide medical evidence with your claim, and missing key deadlines could delay or jeopardize your compensation.
- Uncooperative employer. If your employer is dragging their feet in answering your questions, filing your claim, or helping you navigate the process, that could significantly delay a decision by the BWC.
- Disputed evidence. Your employer could claim that your accident did not happen at work, that you had a pre-existing injury, or that you are a contract employee ineligible for workers' comp. Even if these claims are false, it will slow down the process.
The sooner you contact a workers' comp attorney, the sooner you could get your claim processed and receive your benefits.
When You Need an Attorney
At Monast Law Office, our legal team can handle every aspect of your work injury claim, from helping you file to making sure your paperwork is complete and correct to speaking with your employer and the BWC on your behalf. Fill out our contact form or call us at 614-515-2595 to speak to our Columbus workers' compensation lawyer today for guidance on your workers' comp claim.